Have you ever wanted to be in two places at once?
I found myself in that situation last Tuesday, April 19. That was the date when two major events took place for our family: Gail had major surgery in the morning and Jacob received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the evening. Gail’s recovery precluded her from attending Jake’s Confirmation. More on that in a bit.
Gail went to see our family doctor back in early February when she started to spot. Gail’s usually very regular so this was certainly out of the ordinary. After a few weeks of monitoring, a couple more visits to the doctor, and an ultrasound, it was confirmed in mid-March that Gail had cysts on/in her ovaries. The multi-cyst on her left ovary was the size of a tennis ball.
Needless to say, we were very concerned that the cysts were cancerous. However, it would take weeks to confirm or deny this so there wasn’t much we could do except to pray. Gail’s blood work and MRI came back indicating that Gail had endometriosis but the jury was out on cancer. So again we waited.
Continue reading Let Go and Let God
Advent is about waiting. Anticipating. Expecting. Preparing. Hoping.
This sounds a lot like youth ministry to me.
We wait for youth to commit their lives to Jesus. We wait for them to arrive so we can start our youth gatherings. We wait for their parents to come pick them up at the end of our events.
We anticipate the arrival of youth at our gatherings with our eyes fixated on the door. We anticipate their confusion or their silence when we are preparing small group discussions. We anticipate their excitement when we announce the dates of retreats and rallies.
We expect the youth to behave when they are at Church. We expect that more youth will come out to social events than teaching nights. We expect that Father will ask us “So how many people came to youth ministry last night?”
We prepare prayer services, social justice excursions, and skits. We prepare snacks to serve the youth either before, during, or after the gathering. We prepare them to be able to share their testimonies with a world that so desperately needs to hear them.
We hope that we are making a difference in the youths’ lives. We hope that they make good decisions especially in the face of temptation. We hope that their homes are stable and that their friends are good.
Most of all, we love them where they are at and we lead them to an encounter with Jesus Christ.
Just as Christ entered the world to love and encounter us.
On October 3, 2015, my work colleague and friend Erwin married beautiful Alexandria in London, Ontario. I was blessed to emcee the reception that evening, and as part of the program I presented the following story about Erwin and Alex: their meeting, the courting period, their dating, and the proposal.
The story of Erwin and Alex begins in March 2013 when Erwin sat across from me (and 3 others) in a boardroom in downtown Vancouver. We asked questions and he did his best to answer them.
One month later he was living in Vancouver and working at a new job. For a really good looking boss.
As I mentioned earlier, Erwin and Alex met in Saskatoon in January 2014 when they were both there for some youth ministry gatherings that had some really long names.
Alex’s first impression of Erwin was hardly a positive one. She found him abrupt, unapproachable, and standoffish. Pretty much everything you look for in a future husband.
Continue reading Penguins, Planes, and the Proposal: The Story of Erwin and Alex
I’m thrilled to be in Toronto this weekend to speak at the annual Symposium for NCLN (National Campus Life Network). I’ll be speaking on “The Top 10 Ways to Sustain Yourself and Your Team”.
Formed by students and for students, National Campus Life Network (NCLN) is the heart of the Pro-Life Student Movement in Canada. NCLN equips students to build a campus culture that respects and upholds the value and equality of all human life from fertilization to natural death; these students will in turn transform society, as they go on to lead in their future fields, careers, communities and families.
I’m looking forward to hearing from leaders and speakers in the pro-life movement and meeting students from across the country involved in this important work.
Here’s the official promo video for Spirit Day 2015 – the largest annual Catholic youth rally in BC.
Spirit Day is the annual event for grade 7 students of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, presented by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office. It will be held on November 7 and 8 at the Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Surrey.
The theme for this year’s event is “Worthy”. Each of us is respectfully and wonderfully made. At Spirit Day, we’ll explore how we are created in the image and likeness of God; we are worthy because He is worthy.
Spirit Day will feature APeX Ministries as the Keynote Speakers, and WAL (formerly known as the Jacob and Matthew Band) leading music.
“Shine Your Light” written and performed by WAL, courtesy of World Library Publications, wlpmusic.com. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Video created by Matthew Furtado.
For more info and to register, visit http://www.oyyam.com